Why China Market?
Chinese outbound tourism is the world’s largest outbound travel market that is characterised by its rapid growth and large volume (UNWTO, 2019).
According to the statistics of Visit Finland, Chinese tourists’ night spent in Finland has surpassed Japanese tourists in 2015 and continues as a fast growth before the pandemic. (Visit Finland, 2017)
In China, strong pandemic control measures have made domestic travel quite easy, with volumes in April 2021 surging back to April 2019 volumes. Though people’s lives are getting back to normal, the strict lockdown has left many to rethink life and their priorities. As a result, their perception of the tourism industry has gradually changed. According to our recent market research with 1285 respondents in 6 first tier Chinese cities, Finland oriented Chinese incoming tourism has vast demand also in post pandemic. (link to market report)
North Karelia’s key strengths in China Market?
Tranquillity is luxury: Silence and space are ordinary to inhabitants here in North Karelia, but luxury for urban Chinese. Chinese are longing to escape from the crowed urban environment. The niche market of LOHAS (Life of Health and Sustainability) is growing fast in China.
Nature is easily accessible: Nature in North Karelia is well facilitated and easy to enter, friendly to urban netizens and non-backpackers.
Know-how and in-depth knowledge in education and nature learning: As China start to shift its society development focus from efficiency towards equality, the new tone of voice inside the society is to slow down and enjoy everyday life. This also brings new opportunities for education travel trips focus on nature learning or self-discover. There are good know-hows, resources in North Karelia’s education sector which can attract educational oriented travellers (such as students, teachers, educators in private and public sectors)
Rich content in authentic / folk culture: North Karelia has rich culture content of folk art, folk music, stories and culinary culture, such as, Kantele , Karelian pastries, Kalevala, the nature gods of Finnish myths etc. These elements of North Karelian culture are unique. These elements with a tailored storytelling can help North Karelia differentiate as a destination in the Chinese market
Safe and friendly society: Safety is a key determine factor in post pandemic. The friendly society in North Karelia, or Finland in general, can make tourists feel they are welcomed and relaxed.
Market Signals and Trends
The travelling is expected to start again slowly in the end of 2022 or early 2023. Reduced flight connections and high flight ticket rates to Europe and Finland will affect the travelling quite a bit. Professional groups, for example educational travel groups, will be the first groups.
Niche Destinations Standing Out
With the rise of interest in domestic travel, the consumption habits of Chinese tourists is also gradually changing.Tourists are opting for less popular and less visited destinations, that are safe and niche.
Booming Winter Tourism
The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics has increased public attention and interest in winter sports. ‘Skiing’ has become the most popular search word for ice-snow tourism on OTA Mafengwo in 2020 Q4. By 2021, it is estimated that ice and snow tourism will have attracted a total of 230 million tourists. With international COVID restrictions easing up through time, it is expected more and more Chinese tourists will travel to winter destinations outside of China.
Gen Z and post-80s / post-90s parents are the new target groups
China’s rapid development, and the rise of the digital age, have seen three major groups forming their own identity as consumers in the tourism industry.
Post 80s and post 90s parents make up 74% of the family travel packages consumed. Because of rising incomes, and growing interest in family travel experiences, this group is less price-sensitive for travelling.